Action Society

Dear President Ramaphosa,

Somebody stole my childhood. Somebody stole my virginity. Somebody stole my trust in men. Somebody stole my innocence. Somebody stole my dignity. Somebody stole my safety. Somebody stole my life.

We really hope that the iPad thief was apprehended and hopefully you got your iPad back. It’s not nice when things are stolen from us, it leaves you feeling helpless and angry.

The victims of GBV, femicide and sexual abuse in South Africa know this feeling all too well.  You may have found your “stolen” iPad or you’ve probably replaced it already but every day in South Africa hundreds of vulnerable people are robbed of far more than an iPad, robbed of things that no insurance company covers.

Where are my DNA-results? 200,000 victims of  violent crime have been asking this question daily, some of them for over two years. Minister Cele is very good at apologising for the DNA backlog crisis which was caused by his mismanagement and poor leadership − but apologies are not answers. Apologies are not solutions.  It’s time to start answering the questions of victims with action and results.

Where is the accountability? Besides the massive DNA backlog, it is apparent that Minister Cele is not the right man for the job Mr. President. He allowed the previous DNA system to be shut down without any contingency plan in place, which caused not only the backlog but a big concern regarding the chain of custody and integrity of DNA samples.  These samples might be compromised and if so, it can’t be used as crucial evidence in court cases. The knock-on effect of this would be that cases are thrown out of court and criminals going free. Criminals going free. Victims left without justice. The minister has to take the same route your iPad did sir, Cele must go.

Where is my justice? Thousands of GBV victims walk out of court with this question on their minds, 92,2% of them to be exact. With the conviction rate at an all time low 7.8% Mr. President, citizens have lost their faith in the justice system.  Violent criminals are walking away scot-free to murder and rape again because the law is not being enforced – this is the answer that you will have to give to the families and victims of GBV cases.

Where is my safety? 114 rape victims walk around in fear every day.  These are the ones who had enough courage to report their cases.  The other 90% also ask this question but have already lost complete faith in the SAPS and justice system and don’t expect any answers. If you  expect nothing you can’t be disappointed. They continue to suffer in silence, carrying their scars and trauma with them for the rest of their lives. 

Dispossessed of leadership, dispossessed of protection, dispossessed of honesty, dispossessed of rights, dispossessed of safety. Where is my President? 

 

 

Categories: Press Release

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